With increased home values, a
growing number of homeowners are flush with home equity and are eager to
re-invest in home improvements. COVID-19 sparked a demand for remodeling
projects (e.g., home offices, gyms, and outdoor living spaces) and those trends
have continued even as the pandemic subsides.
“Extended time at home meant homeowners
focused on projects that may been put off,” said Kurt Clason, the 2022 National
Home Builders Association (NAHB) Remodelers Chair and owner of New
Hampshire-based Clason Remodeling. “Many decided to stay in their homes longer,
seeking out aging-in-place or universal design projects. As a result, our
industry has not just survived the pandemic, but it has thrived.”
Quarterly surveys conducted by NAHB
throughout the past year confirm that as home prices and interest rates rise,
prospective buyers are increasingly losing steam with their home search and
opting to stay put. Luckily, with recent advancements in building products and techniques,
it’s never been easier for homeowners to infuse new life into an existing
And not all remodeling projects are
as intensive and visible as renovating a full kitchen or bathroom. Sometimes,
the smaller upgrades can make a big impact – especially those that make your
home “smarter,” for example:
The options for smart-home security
systems are perhaps more plentiful than in any other category of home
technology. Homeowners now can easily monitor nearly every inch of their home,
and that includes the garage: Several garage door opener manufactures have
created dual-purpose openers that feature built-in cameras and two-way audio
communication. This improves security in what is often an overlooked space of
the home. And some models integrate with Amazon Key for convenient and secure
in-garage deliveries of packages and groceries.
Water damage can be a homeowner’s
worst nightmare. Failed plumbing can happen at any time and often with little
or no warning. Even in existing homes that are relatively new, having an
integrated water monitoring system will provide significant peace of mind. Some
of the latest — and relatively inexpensive — plumbing products will send
ultrasonic sound waves through a home’s main water line to measure water flow.
If potential problems are detected, alerts will be immediately sent to the homeowner.
Customizable features can also be set to automatically shut off the main water
line, if desired.
One of the more crowd-pleasing
features of a smart home is also one that can be among the most affordable and
easy to install: automated illumination. But lighting isn’t just about bulbs,
cans, fixtures, and blinds. There are other “behind-the-scenes” smart devices such
as dimmers, switches and receptacles that can be installed quickly to enhance —
and automate — devices in any room of the home. The key is to determine early
on which technology platform you prefer, ensuring optimal compatibility among
your devices and minimizing the need to install additional hubs.
With a seemingly endless variety of new
smart-home products to choose from, it’s important to define your preferences
and priorities before you begin. Your best bet is to enlist the expertise of a
professional remodeler who can help walk you through the process.